Fit to Compete: Why Honest Conversations About Your Company's Capabilities Are the Key to a Winning Strategy

Fit to Compete: Why Honest Conversations About Your Company's Capabilities Are the Key to a Winning Strategy

by Michael Beer


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Is Silence Killing Your Strategy?

In his thirty years of working in corporations, Harvard Business School professor Michael Beer has witnessed firsthand how organizational silence derails strategic objectives. When employees can't speak truth to power, senior leaders don't hear what they need to hear about their company's fitness to compete, and employees lose trust in those leaders and become less committed to change.

In Fit to Compete, Beer presents an antidote to silence—principles and a time-tested innovative process for holding honest conversations with everyone in your organization. Used by over eight hundred organizations across the globe, the strategic fitness process has helped leaders in a diverse range of industries—including medical technology, information technology, banking, restaurant chains, and pharmaceuticals—hear the raw but necessary truth about the sources of misalignment between their strategies and their organizations.

In addition to step-by-step instructions, Beer offers detailed and illustrative case studies of companies that have conducted honest conversations to great effect. He also shows how to apply the process more broadly to a variety of strategic challenges and at multiple levels throughout the organization.

Practical, enlightening, and comprehensive, Fit to Compete is the book you should turn to if you to want create winning strategies that your entire company will rally behind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633692305
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 01/14/2020
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,193,666
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Michael Beer is the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School. He is a cofounder and Chairman of TruePoint Partners, an international consulting firm, and chairman of the board at the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of companies and leaders committed to creating economic and social value. He is the author of eleven books, including Higher Ambition: How Great Leaders Create Economic and Social Value (Harvard Business Review Press, 2011).

You can find the author at:

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Preface xi

Introduction: Why Your Strategy Needs an Honest Conversation 1

Part 1 The Power of Honest Conversations

Chapter 1 How to Lead Honest Conversations 29

Chapter 2 Why Discussing the Undiscussabe Is Transformative 57

Part 2 Honest Conversations in Action

Chapter 3 Fit to Compete: Becoming a Corporate Olympian 85

Chapter 4 Fit to Perform: Overcoming the Silent Killers 117

Chapter 5 Fit to Trust: Overcoming Hierarchy 151

Chapter 6 Fitness to Adapt: Overcoming Complacency 173

Part 3 What If Honest Conversations Were the Norm?

Chapter 7 Corporate Stewardship 201

Chapter 8 The Need for Courage 223

Appendix A Nine Steps of the Strategic Fitness Process 241

Appendix B Research Purpose and Methods 251

Appendix C Questionnaire for Assessing Your Own Organization's Silent Killers 257

Notes 261

Index 273

Acknowledgments 283

About the Author 287

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